From the Desk of

J. Michael Cross County Executive

     Let’s talk a little about next week’s Solar Eclipse. First, as a significant historical and scientific happening, it’s a once in a lifetime event. The next total eclipse visible from Tennessee will be on October 17, 2153. The average “Totality” duration is 2 minutes and 39 seconds. The average speed of the moon’s shadow as it moves across Fentress County will be almost 1,500 miles per hour. The average width of the path of “Totality” is 71.5 miles wide.

     Officials estimate that almost 5 million people will travel varying distances to converge on the path of “Totality”. Obviously, one of the larger potential problems will be handling the traffic. Additionally, most officials believe that up to 1.4 million people will converge on Tennessee to view the Eclipse. This poses the potential for congested roadways and an increase in traffic accidents. We want to caution anyone on the road during the Eclipse to use extreme caution and to focus on the oncoming and parked vehicles along the roadways.

     As to local observance, the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor an “Eclipse Viewing” at South Fentress Community Park. For more information, listen to our local radio stations, follow information in the “Fentress Courier” or call the Fentress County Chamber of Commerce.

     We do plan to keep the Fentress County Courthouse open on the 21st, while permitting our county workers to make arrangements to view the Eclipse. The Fentress County Commission will also be meeting at 6:00 p.m. Monday night for their regularly scheduled meeting.

     Please be aware that viewing an Eclipse without proper safety my result in “Eclipse Blindness”, a serious injury in which the eye’s retina is damaged by solar radiation. Sunglasses, even very dark ones are NOT safe. Please be sure to obtain the proper “Solar Glasses” before viewing the Eclipse. At the present time, Fentress County Schools are scheduled to remain open on the 21st. Teachers are using the Eclipse as a science lesson. The Fentress County Board of Education will furnish all students with the proper eyewear to view the Eclipse.

     We hope everyone enjoys the Eclipse while exercising proper caution.

     We can be reached at 879-7713. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks can also be reached at vog.n1513114334Tytnu1513114334oCsse1513114334rtneF1513114334@skci1513114334H.adn1513114334amA1513114334. The Fentress County Commission meets every third Monday at 6:00 p.m. following a 5:00 o’clock work session. All meetings are open to the public.